Chris Esper sent us his most recent short film, Undertaker, written by Kris Salvi whom you’ll know from another short we reviewed, Bent.
Undertaker comes in at just over ten minutes and is shot in black and white which adds to the surreal nature of the narrative.
Dustin Teuber (“Mass Hysteria”, “Rotting Rage”), the Undertaker, wakes up at the side of a railway line in a dark suit. He can’t remember anything, who he is, how he got there, where ‘there’ even is.
He walks up the line to the station and finds a man, Justin Thibault (“Bent (Short)”, “Seeds”), sitting, smoking a cigarette. A strange conversation ensues in which this man seems to know more about the undertaker then he does himself.
He decides he needs coffee and heads across the street to a diner. On his way in, he meets a similarly dressed man coming out, and another surreal conversation.
Once inside he’s told he’s been expected by Jen Drummond (“Summer (Short)”, “Amaranthine (Short)”) who sits him down and, well, doesn’t really explain much.
Next, she puts him in a car, telling him he’s in the wrong place and he’d better leave. In the car a man hands him a gun, says this is who he is. The Undertaker begins to understand.
It’s all very surreal, the choice of black and white bold but it pays off, adding to the strangeness, as does the light yet eerie music that plays almost constantly throughout.
The performances are good, our protagonist as confused as we are by the circumstances he finds himself in, with Esper’s final shot of the old, 50’s style car driving off into the woods acting as the icing on the cake.